published Thursday, November 15th, 2012

5-at-10: Fab 4, Vols receivers and baseball award winners

Fab 4 (plus 1):

We've had an excellent run here at the Fab 4 (plus 1), because we remember a couple of basics. One, if a line looks too good to be true, it normally is. Two, play what you know and what you think you know and know what you think really doesn't matter. (We promise that made sense we we started.)

Look for numbers and match-ups and possible scenarios that make the most sense. And remember, since these are picks against the spread and they are for entertainment purposes only, only risk the amount of entertainment with which you are comfortable. Let's keep it safe out there. Get the papers, get the papers.

After last week's 4-1 mark, we're an extremely profitable 39-16-2 this year. Not too shabby. Sadly, we do not get a good vibe from tonight's Virginia-UNC game since we've hit the last four Thursday night picks. UVa-UNC though feels a lot like driving down Market Street and throwing a $50 bill out the window and hoping it comes back a $100.

Speaking of investment opportunities, if you had bet $100 on the UT and the over to start the season and let it ride each week, do you know that you'd have $102,400 riding on the Vols and Vandy scoring more than 60 combined points this week. Yep, UT is a perfect 10-0 going over the total - SAAALLLLL!!! - one of only two teams that we have found to be perfect this picking season. (Utah State is a perfect 10-0 against the spread this year, too.)

Mississippi State minus-6.5 against Arkansas: The Hogs are done. Quarterback Tyler Wilson is a senior and it's hard to remember a guy having a bigger disappointment by returning for his final year in school. The Bulldogs fought with LSU last week and have plenty to play for at 7-3 and dreams of a Florida bowl. Plus, Arkansas' biggest strength - its passing game - goes against Mississippi State's top tandem of corners.

Louisiana-Monroe minus-10 against North Texas: We'd buy the half here and feel pretty good. Yes, the La-Monroe Warhawks have lost two in a row, but those games were without quarterback Kolton Browning, who is probable for this game. How much of difference does Browning make in their spread offense? Well, with him they are 6-2 with an overtime loss at Auburn and a five-point loss at Baylor. Without him they are 0-2. Discuss among yourselves and you're welcome.

USC minus-4 at UCLA: Is there more of a head-scratching road game than USC at UCLA. They're in the same city. Anyhoo, the season of much frustration for the Trojans has a chance to be salvaged in some part in this one. Plus, Lane Kiffin needs a good showing, and when he needs a good showing, he players normally deliver a good showing. Anyone want a little side action on USC coming out in tricked up uniforms? We hope not but this has that kind of feel, no?

Oklahoma minus-10 at West Virginia: Goodness gracious, were we wrong about this Mountaineer bunch. Five weeks into the year, a 5-0 WVU club was the buzz of football and quarterback Geno Smith was a Heisman frontrunner. Four consecutive losses later and this underdog has fleas. Did you know (research alert here; don' get spoiled) that WVU is 2-4 in Big 12 games and has allowed an average of 51 points per conference game? FIFTY-ONE flippin' points. Somewhere even Sal Sunseri - SAAALLLLL!!! - is saying, "Dang, that's a bad defense."

As for the plus one game, well, since there are not any lines on the SEC-FCS squabbles - and really what would the Alabama-Western Carolina spread be, 50? - we're going to put our unbeaten Thursday night streak on the line. No, not the Virginia-UNC game, that's fool's gold. We'll take Kansas minus-28 against UTC in hoops. Hey, entertainment is entertainment, gang.

If we must make a football pick, we'll take Ohio State plus-3 at Wisconsin: Buy the half of course. Some times, picking is as simple as, do you trust Braxton Miller or Curt Phillips more? There you go.


  • photo
    UT's Cordarrelle Patterson gains yards in the game against Troy Nov. 3 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.
    Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Vols receivers impress the guru

As our UT beat ace Downtown Patrick Brown shared with every today, Vols receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter are good at tackle football. That fact has not escaped the watchful eyes of NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. Here's Downtown's story about Patterson and Hunter's draft stock http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/nov/15/two-vols-receivers-have-nfls-attention/.

  • photo
    Justin Hunter of Tennessee hauls in a touchdown pass with Troy's Bryan Willis in pursuit.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Kiper participated in a conference call with us media types Wednesday and was gushing in his praise for the duo, saying that Patterson is a mid-first-round guy and Hunter is likely a second-round pick, which impressed Kiper because it's so soon after last year's knee injury.

In all likelihood those two cats have to leave. Period. The jury is still out on whether Tyler Bray will declare - Kiper noted as much, saying the only real question was "what will Bray do" - when talking about the Vols passing success. Kiper also noted that there is no surefire quarterback home run this year with the struggles of Matt Barkley, Geno Smith, Logan Thomas et al.

We wanted to ask Mel a follow-up question about Bray, because here's what we believe: OK, Bray's stock as a quarterback is not as highly regarded as his talent throwing the football. That makes sense considering his off-the-field stuff and the fact that he's winless against ranked teams. But, if his stock is at a C-to-C-plus level after this year, what is it going to be next year without his top four receiving options (Zach Rogers and Mychal Rivera are seniors; Hunter and Patterson almost assuredly are NFL-bound) and likely a new coaching staff.

OK, we live the draft; you know this. So talking to Mel was enjoyable. And know this: Dude gets ribbed about his hair, and it's a great mane there's no doubt. but he flat-out knows his stuff as well as anyone in the sports media world. Truthfully. We spent an hour listening to the call, and there were reporters on there from college and NFL towns across the country asking things like, "What are the later QB options for the Kansas Chiefs?" (Kiper loves the kid from Syracuse) and "Who are some of the draftable players at Oregon State?" (Kiper likes the Beavers' receiving tandem), and Kiper never missed a step. Dude was money and free-flowing like LL Cool J. And he has a great head of hair.


  • photo
    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price throwing against the New York Yankees in the first inning of a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Award winners

The baseball awards are trickling in, and there have been few surprises.

The managers of the year - Washington's Davey Johnson and Oakland's Bob Melvin- were kind of expected.

The rookies of the year - Mike Trout was unanimous; Bryce Harper was a narrow decision - were the proper picks too. As were the Cy Youngs, which were handed out to David Price in the AL and R.A. Dickey in the NL.

The MVPs are expected today, and while we understand there is more to the game than stats, we're having a hard time wondering why Miguel Cabrera even has to sweat the announcement.

Cabrera, the Tigers slugging third baseman, won the triple crown. Repeat: He led the American League in homers, RBIs and batting average.

Here are the stats for the two front-runners:

Trout vs. Cabrera
Trout vs. Cabrera

Yet, some alphabet soup kids with slide rules and calculators want to use a complex scale of derivative-based equations and projections of runs prevented value over replacements to say that Trout had a better year.

Hogwash. Trout played a highlight-filled centerfield and had a great year while stealing 49 bases for a team that under achieved.

Cabrera won the triple crown - the first one in baseball in 45 years - while leading his team to the World Series.

We don't care what your equations say, if Miguel Cabrera doesn't win, then the MVP award needs to be changed to the MASH - Most Awesome Sabermetrics Hero - Award.


This and that

- Shout out to our man Downtown Patrick Brown's Memphis Grizzlies, who thumped the Thunder after beating the Heat. Are we ready for a world where the Memphis Grizzlies are the No. 1 seed in the West? Maybe. But we're certainly not ready for the smack talk that would come from Downtown if that development became a reality.

- Apparently, now even the phone calls have stopped between the NHL and the players union. Deboman, our resident hockey guy, cover your eyes: Memo to the NHL, you're on the fringe of relevancy to begin with, and if you are going to let season ticket holders start doing other things with their money, well, you're going to be surprised how quickly they forget about you. Want to know something else: You guys stink for all the jobs of the everyday folks - from the media folks that cover you to the people work the arenas to the fringe outfits around the games - you put in jeopardy. OK< Debo, it's safe to look again.

- America's richest football coach? Saban? Bellichick? Mack Brown? Nope, it's Coastal Carolina first-year coach Joe Moglia. Sure his salary is fractional of those other guys and the names you thought of, but Moglia is back in coaching after leaving the profession in the early 1980s. Moglia left college coaching to make more more money on Wall Street - he earned more than $1 billion during a financial career that took him to the CEO office of TD Ameritrade - before returning to the sideline.

Today's questions

Not sure what has happened with the crazy interwebs, but let's try this again:

We're going quick answer today, and remember Friday's mailbag:

If you were Cordarrelle Patterson, Justin Hunter or Tyler Bray, would you come back?

Who has the better name: Cordarrelle Patterson or Barkevious Mingo?

Do you miss hockek? Even a little bit?

If Auburn's offense took the field against UT's defense, what would happen and how ugly would it be?

What non-cuss word should we sneak into conversation on our weekly appearance on Chris Goforth's show at 2 p.m. today on 1370 AM?

Discuss.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

By my count you only gave me a 4 at 10, which means I want 20% back on my subscription. What's that? It was free to begin with. Oh. Carry on.

I think the Mocs surprise tonight and keep it closer than expected. Kansas played a physical game on Tuesday night and had to fly back home to play Thursday. The Mocs have to shoot better. The question is, what do Zlovaric and Mason do against Withey and the rest of the interior for the Jayhawks. If they hold their own and the Mocs make a few shots, there could be an upset. Those are big ifs, obviously. Southeast Missouri, who the Mocs play on Sunday, already played at Kansas and lost by 19. I think the Mocs can put up a similar spread to that. Here's hoping the first game jitters are gone for the freshman. We'll see. Can't wait.

November 15, 2012 at 10:24 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Hey Jay,

I figured I would jump out of the gate with an early Mocs report (as of this writing, the 5 at 10 was not up so some of this may already be covered).

I'll start first with the local "sad" news I heard off of 102.3 this morning via straming audio.

Moment of silence please for Murrey Arnold. Although the Roundhouse is forever known as "The house that Mac built", Murrey was the one who brought the Mocs national attention with the now famous 1977 National Championship (then Division II) and the start of a storied program that is steeped in tradition here in the Scenic City.

Speaking of Mocs basketball, I was stumped to come up with a good trio Rushmore until I came home from work (by that time, everyone was long done 5 at 10-ing for the day) but one that registered with me was Bullock, Dykes, and Wilson. These three ladies were the centerpiece of Wes Moore's first successful team of "giant killers" with wins against Florida State, Alabama, UAB, George Mason, Louisville, and a few others I may have overlooked.

I grant you women's basketball is not big except in Tennessee and Connecticut. But having such "fond" memories of what the women's team was like pre-Moore, ::was not a pretty sight::, I felt this would be a good submission for my trio Rushmore.

November 15, 2012 at 10:29 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Stuck —

Fixed. Sorry about that, we had a plumber swing by the 5-at-10 compound, so this submission was done in pieces.

And yes, keep an eye on your mailbox for the refund check.

— 5-at-10

November 15, 2012 at 10:35 a.m.
droolyvolfan said...

Hey 5'er, I've been riding your fab4 +1 all season and thanks for the great entertainment!!! As for your 2 perfect records of Utah St. and the mighty Vols, I'll add one more for you in Illinois (a perfect 0-8 ATS)...sometimes it is not who you are betting on, but who you are going against.

Stuck might be on to something..the Mocs are down to minus 26.

November 15, 2012 at 10:42 a.m.
droolyvolfan said...

I'll take... GA 17-9 SC 38-35 Eagles 39-31

Fooly Drooly Dooly stays put...What do I win?

November 15, 2012 at 10:49 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Like the spread regarding La-Monroe vs. the Mean Green 25 miles up the road from me. :P Didn't realize I had that much of an influence.

The Warhawks have an excellent program but unfortunately as you pointed it they are "Camming" (reference to Cam Newton in his pre- vir jay jay years) in the fact all their eggs are in one basket with Browning. Without him, they can be average at best by Sun Belt standards.

One thing I like about the SB is while they are definitely no SEC or Big 12, they now have a solid reputation for being the one mid-level conference to give the SEC the most headaches*

*Unless you're playing LSU, Alabama, and that small school in College Station.

Surprised by StuckinKent's optimism regarding tonight's Mocs-Jayhawks match-up. Was even more surprised reading how this game tied in with us landing home games against LaTech and Troy. We should have held out for one of the bigger schools but being on the "Anybody BUT Hawassee College and insert-no-name-school here", I'm not complaining dispite this not being an actual money game.

November 15, 2012 at 10:51 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Um, 5, yeah, this is Bill Lumberg. Yeah, you're Today's Questions didn't come with their TPS cover sheets, so we're gonna need you to do those again. And we may need you to come in on Saturday. Yeahhh....

November 15, 2012 at 11:07 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Drooly —

Glad to be of service, and hope you put your entertainment to good use like picking up a round for your buddies or bringing the Mrs. some flowers or buying the kiddies a surprise.

And sorry about the question fiasco... not sure what happened.

As for winning anything, well, to quote the wise Judge Smails — "You'll get nothing and like it."

Run JMC —

Yes, we're less confident in our Mocs than Stuck for sure. In fact, Shulman's freshman-laden bunch looked mighty jittery against Tennessee Temple. At home. In front of 1,400. How are they going to be against Kansas in front of 15,000? Against a modest up grade in competition, too.

Spy —

That is fair. And hey, we're in sports, we work on Saturdays anyway.

That said, Gary Cole may be on the Rushmore of underrated actors of our time. Dude is money.

Lumberg. Cotton McKnight. Mike Brady.

— 5-at-10

November 15, 2012 at 11:20 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

answers to today's questions, in order. 1. Come back to what? 2. Oh, it's Mingo all the way. Corda ... Corder ... screw it, Mr. Patterson has a great name, but Patterson is, well, common. With Barkevious, you get Barkevious and you get Mingo. A win-win name. 3. Yes. Greatly. Especially in person. Gary Bettman is an international criminal. 4. That would be so modern art ugly, even the ghost of Andy Warhol couldn't look at it. It would be like the old electric football game without having read the directions on how to control the guy, just guys running aimlessly into each other for no apparent reason.

November 15, 2012 at 11:27 a.m.
Blueoval said...

If they can get first or even second round money then run, run, run as fast as you can and get out of the mess that is in Knoxville. With that said, I hope they all stay.

Patterson has a better name because spell check does not recognize Barkevious. Which by the way should be the word you bring up on 1370 am.

Auburn offense would have their way with Vol defense because we have slow DBs and Coach Sal.

Don't miss hockey at all......can do without it. Fun to watch in person but just can't get into it on TV.

November 15, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
Todd962 said...

I would like for you to attempt to use persnickety in casual conversation with Chris Goforth today at 2 pm on WDEF 1370 am. (Bang! The home of rock and roll! No? Not the station from Rainman?) Unfortunately I will not be listening cause when they built our office they used lead to line the walls so evil radio waves wouldnt get in and distract us....crummy Pb lined walls.

If Bray, Hunter, and Patterson were in a house fire together, and had the chance to get out and make millions, why on Earth would they remain in said house fire and burn without millions. I like money, I have a little, I'd like some more, thats where the NFL comes in. If I am them, I am out of there, and am not even worried about the dumpster fire in my rearview mirror.

November 15, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
Todd962 said...

UT Defense and Auburn Offense... I see two monkeys humping a football in a stadium at half capacity with two largely diappointed fanbases glaring at them. Luckily Fanman, from that Vegas fight, swept into the stadium and plucked me to safety at halftime. Thank you Fanman, to the bars dear friend, drinks are on me.

November 15, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Did you get into the Bud Lights and catfish last night? Someone flipped your funny swithc. Well-played indeed.

Oval —

We'll give Barkevious a shot. And you want to know how great Barkevious is, he may not even have the best name in his family. Barkevious, who goes by the nickname Ke-Ke, has brothers named Hugh Mingo III and Hughtavious Mingo. Mr. and Mrs. Mingo are the name champs of the free world.

962 —

You made us laugh at our desk — one of those where people looked and want to be in on the joke and you have to look up and try to explain it and it falls flat. Alas.

Persnickety is. In fact, we may try to preview the SEC game of the week and say that it all falls on the persnickety Barkevious Mingo.

— 5-at-10

November 15, 2012 at 11:58 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

JMC is was not the Godfather Murray Arnold that was coaching when the Mocs won the DivII title...It was Ron Shumate...However, it was Coach Arnold and ONLY him that guided the Mocs to a national ranking in the AP poll...1983 when the Mocs were #15 in the final top 20 of the season...he will forever be the GODFATHER of Mocs hoops

November 15, 2012 at 12:17 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5,

It is amazing the clarity and acuity brought on by lack of sleep. Big project at hand. Not much sleep to be had at the bachelor command bunker for the Spy.

mmmm .... catfish ... wah wah wah ....

November 15, 2012 at 12:46 p.m.
chas9 said...

Thanks to JMC and OG for remembering Murray Arnold. And thanks to Murray. Which brings up a question for Friday: What's your Rushmore of sports names that read just as well forwards as backwards because they're essentially just two surnames? Murray Arnold or Arnold Murray?

UT vs. AU? The horror, the horror! Knoxville doesn't have much to be proud of these days, but there is R. A. Dickey.

I'll go with Cordarelle, no matter what the category. Sky's the limit. But I'd also love to have seen UK's Willie Cauley-Stein line up his seven foot self at WR on his high school football team. Don't think he could've saved this year's UK football team, though.

November 15, 2012 at 12:47 p.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

He was before our time in Chatt-Vegas but we've heard a bunch from folks we respect about MA and we're impressed.

Spy —

That's the truth right there; lack of sleep sharpens the senses and the funny bone (which is different from the redneck bone in that some pretend country yahoo didn't write a stupid-A song about it).

9er —

That's a mailbagger all right.

And we're not sure whether Willie Gault, Keith Cauley or Ben Stein could have saved this year's UK football team.

— 5-at-10

November 15, 2012 at 1:10 p.m.
deboman said...

Yes, I miss hockey, much to the missus’ chagrin. At least I’ve been able to parlay the lack of hockey games into more tailgating and football games. With a lack of games to discuss, I’ve taken to using hockey terminology in meetings at work, which has most wondering ‘what’s up with the new guy’. Gary Bettman is the devil. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Either of those names are clear winners. I always get a laugh when I think about D’Brickashaw Ferguson and how well he really fit in with the wine and cheese crowd at UVA. Which brings me to the Thursday night game and another entertainment mantra that I have learned over the years- Don’t mess with rivalries. Packers v Bears, Jets v Dolphins, Cowboys v Indians. Just run away b/c all bets are off!

May be late on the word of the day game, but we had one back in the old university days that was thrown around a lot. Schlonkered. As in “Did you see Todd last night, that kid was schlonkered.” Even had ole Van Earl Wright throw it out during one of his Headline News updates.

November 15, 2012 at 1:38 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

I believe I would have to be schlonkered to the persnickety to sit through an AU-UT game this year. I do believe they play next year in Knoxville. I bet JP already has it scheduled.

November 15, 2012 at 1:51 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Debo —

For you, we're sorry that the NHL has decided to sleep through the winter.

Yes, rivalry games can be somewhat dicey. But the Dolphins and Bills have not been a real rivalry for a while.

Van Earl Wright? Wow, great call.

November 15, 2012 at 2 p.m.
deboman said...

Oops I failed on the better point of clarity when referring to the Thursday nite game. I was referencing your idea that it might suit you better to burn up your entertainment with a match instead of applying it to the UVA v UNC game. Old ACC rivals. Guess I did just list National Football League rivals. Lesson learned.

November 15, 2012 at 2:14 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

-ordinaryguy wrote

"JMC is was not the Godfather Murray Arnold that was coaching when the Mocs won the DivII title...It was Ron Shumate...However, it was Coach Arnold and ONLY him that guided the Mocs to a national ranking in the AP poll...1983 when the Mocs were #15 in the final top 20 of the season...he will forever be the GODFATHER of Mocs hoops"

My apologizes guy as unfortunately my history was a little off. I didn't actually start following Mocs hoops until late high school-early college (early to mid 1990s). So "Big Mac" to the present is all I really know. I just remembered MA as being one of the first coaches before McCarthy to help elevate the program to the modern status (and expectations) that are in place today.

But thanks for the correction none the less.

November 15, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.
Livn4life said...

Go Pro-No Go Pro

Hunter-Go Patterson-Go Bray-NoGo Maybe at best(but he probably will) Reasoning: Bray needs another year but with all the uncertainties coming, he will see the "get out while you can" writing on the wall and likely will bail unless the uncertainties look better when they are un unned(more certain). The other two likely would not get their stock up a lot more. We know Patterson's route runnings need improvement but overall he is ready for the big time. Until there is a definitive decision about the coaching situation, it is hard to say but will likely lend itself to most people going. MINGO has the better name because he was Daniel Boone's Native American sidekick. I wonder if Barkevious can do a side kick!

November 15, 2012 at 2:46 p.m.
jgreeson said...

McPell —

Yes, we'd have to be good and schlonkered since Barkevious plays for neither team.

Although that would not be the first time we've been good and schlonkered at an AU game.

Debo —

How do you pick UVA-UNC considering last week they combined to score 91 points. And the combined to allow 108 points.

— 5-at-10

November 15, 2012 at 2:46 p.m.
deboman said...

For picking the UVA - UNC game, my recommendation would be to borrow Todd962's 12 sided die and start wishing for some turnover spells.

November 15, 2012 at 3:45 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Livn(Large)

Here's saying Barkevious Mingo can do a full-blown roundhouse kick. MINGO!

Debo —

12-sided die and turnover spells?

Sweet buckets of battle axes and Battlestar Gallactica, it's back to the basement for all of you. And NO Hot Pockets.

— 5-at-10

November 15, 2012 at 3:59 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Schfivski,

Hey jealousy! (sang in my best Gin Blossom voice) Just cause Debo and I realize the overwelming power of the dodecohedron's might doesnt mean you gotta hate on it.

I was able to tune in to hear you on 1370 today. Good show, sir. I am sure the Ooltewah Owls were glad to hear you desribe them as "requiring a particularly precise or careful approach." Ha, persnickety... How much did you have to bribe Hargis to call in posing as a "caller" to flatter you and the whole TFP gang? I kid, I kid. You guys are awesome.

And if no Hot Pockets.....Ma! Meatloaf!

November 15, 2012 at 4:28 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Miami and Buffalo is the NFL game tonight? Is this like when Letterman used to get Kamar the discount magician because the original No. 1 guest backed out at the last minute?

November 15, 2012 at 4:33 p.m.
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